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Friday, January 29, 2010

Pressing On with Baby Steps

I read an interesting article today at Exemplify Magazine where the author talks about never planning on being a thirtysomething single woman and how she started studying Ezekiel and learned a valuable lesson to apply to her disheartened thinking on her singleness. Here is an excerpt:

"I never expected to be a thirtysomething single woman. Growing up I always thought I would meet and marry my husband by the time I graduated from college. My mom got married at 20. Most of my married friends got married in their twenties. As those last couple years before hitting the big 3-0 dwindled down I felt a tinge of desperation rising. Didn’t God know this desire of my heart? Wouldn’t He grant me the one constant prayer request I’d been petitioning Him with over the last decade? I fell into a numb acceptance of my marital state by the time that all important birthday hit in mid-May. I was a thirty year old single woman. The woman I never thought I’d be."

"Ezekiel is one of those books of the Bible I hadn’t really spent a lot of time studying. I knew it had a lot to do with prophecy and I had read portions of the book but this time I felt the urging to do a little background studying on the author himself, Ezekiel. I was surprised to find myself sympathizing with this prophet.

The first verse of chapter 1 of Ezekiel starts simply enough: “In the [a] thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” Just that takeaway is amazing, right? Sitting there among his exiled people this ordinary guy starts seeing visions of God. That, of course, is huge. Monumental. Life-altering. But something else struck me as I read. That thirtieth year. According to some commentators that referenced Ezekiel as being thirty. Just like I was at the time. I read that Ezekiel would have become a priest had they not been taken into exile. According to my research priests entered into their service at age 30. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was what Ezekiel was pondering sitting beside his fellow kinsman in exile. I wondered if those “if only” and “I thought I’d be” kinds of thoughts crossed his mind. As a child he probably expected his life to have been different at age 30. But how like God to come to Ezekiel in that all important thirtieth year and reveal to him his true calling, the plan God had for him all along.

That revelation floored me. Surely Ezekiel was broken hearted over his priestly calling being thwarted, and because of such devastating circumstances as his, it must have been all the more depressing. Yet God in his infinite wisdom had called this would be priest to be a prophet to his exiled people. In that moment I realized the parallel with my fellow thirtysomething. God is infinitely in control. What I had expected for my life hadn’t turned about before turning 30. Neither had Ezekiel’s life plans. My plans were outside of my control, just as Ezekiel’s were. But there at the center of both of our lives was God, working out his plan for each of us. A better plan that would bring Him much glory. Ezekiel’s is recorded in the Bible. Mine is still being written. In this I can take hope. God knows what He is doing. His plans prevail beyond dashed expectations. Right now my calling is to be single though my heart longs for marriage. It’s a time to trust God and press on. I’m exactly where He’s called me to be. And so are you. "

After going through many failed relationships including three failed marriages, I long for someone to share my life with but my calling is to be single now. To find myself. To center myself. To devote the right amount of time to raising my daughter so she can fulfill His plans for her. I don't know but like this author says "its time to trust God and press on."

This subject falls perfectly in line with The Rest of Your Story that I am doing over at Heart to Heart with Holley. We are doing a 21 day Challege which you can check out here.

Yesterday's challenge: What's one little thing that helps you give God the red pen and make peace with who you are? My response: Remembering that He has a plan for me. It might not be my plan but His is the only one that really matters.

Today's challenge: What's a S.T.E.P in your story? (Small - The tinier the better. We tell ourselves we've got to do something amazing right now...ignore that voice. Tangible - We're not trying to walk on air. "I want to be happy!" isn't a step. Choose something with results. Easy - Yep, not only small but easy. If it can happen in five minutes or less, you get bonus points. Positive - The whole point is going forward. Now isn't the time for, "I'm going to stop...X" Focus on what you'll do instead. A S.T.E.P. might be making a phone call, getting a book, writing something down, exercising for two minutes, reconnecting with a friend, leaving a comment, anything that moves you forward.)

My response: Finally make a to-do list of all those things I have to do (those nagging thoughts that prevent me from sleeping and taking proper care of myself). I think doing this will help me realize what needs to get done so I can feel more centered, less scattered. Not to be amazing but to feel more at peace. There are so many things a single mom has to do that sometimes I just put it all off, procrastinate about it all until eventually it all blows up. Of course, I am not the type to truly put it all off since most nights as I lay down to sleep, my brain hops from one thing to another that I have to do. This way, if I list it all and start working on crossing items off of my list, I think I will feel more at ease with where we (as in my family) are right now.

Working on this list will help me to press on and enjoy THIS life that He has given me rather than waiting on the life I feel I should be living.


Linda said...

I am taking this journey with you. I think the idea of making a list is a great one. I always feel much more peaceful once I have all the things churning around in my mind in an orderly list.
I am looking forward to seeing where the Lord will take us.
P.S. I love to knit too!

Kristina said...

I like your 'step.' That has helped me gain control over my thoughts because my were a little out of control...anyway, I enjoyed reading the excerpt your posted :)

Holley Gerth said...

Thanks so much for linking up and joining in the challenge! I've enjoyed reading your comments on the site and now seeing them here too. Blessings on your story...

Katy said...

Thank you for being so honest and real--I know I find myself wondering what God's doing with His timing and need that reminder that His will and timing truly are in my best interest. Glad you're joining in on this journey!

Stacey said...

Love that excerpt! What book are you reading? Wis words! May God bless you. He is El Roi ---the God who sees you and is truly in the middle of your story!

Looking forward,